HuhtamÃ¤ki closing two container plants
ESPOO, FINLAND - HuhtamÃ¤ki Oyj will close rigid plastics container plants in Hong Kong and Australia as it builds a new site in China.
Espoo-based HuhtamÃ¤ki, prompted by growing packaging demand in southern China, plans to relocate the Hong Kong plastics and paper product operation to an unidentified site in that region.
Construction on the mainland is to begin early next year and the Hong Kong unit will close toward the end of 2007, eliminating about 100 jobs.
``We have a good market presence in northern China, but we need to increase capacity in order to respond to the growing opportunities in southern China,'' said Tony Combe, executive vice president for HuhtamÃ¤ki operations in Asia, Oceania and Africa.
In Australia, the company intends to consolidate rigid packaging operations in the west and south. It plans to close its plastics food containers facility at Bayswater by the end of this year and shift the equipment to its Mulgrave paper and plastics packaging plant near Melbourne. The shutdown will lead to about 30 job losses.
HuhtamÃ¤ki already has seen major reorganization and plant closures in Europe, largely in rigid packaging, and has expanded flexibles facilities in Asia.
Costs associated with the closures in Australia and Hong Kong will be covered by the 80 million euros ($97 million) set aside previously for the second phase of HuhtamÃ¤ki's restructuring.
In 1997, HuhtamÃ¤ki acquired rigid packaging plants in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Taiwan when it took over Melbourne-based Pacific World Packaging Pty. Ltd., a manufacturer of plastics cups and food containers.
Peguform molding at jointly run auto plant
LIBEREC, CZECH REPUBLIC - The Czech Republic's largest plastic auto parts molder, Peguform Bohemia k.s., has started producing components at its new Nymburk facility for Toyota, Peugeot and Citroen's jointly run TPCA auto plant nearby.
The injection molder, which has two other Czech component plants, is producing painted bumpers and dashboards for the TPCA plant's three models, the Toyota Aygo, the Peugeot 107 and the Citroen C1. Heavier component demand from the joint venture follows the introduction there of three-shift operation. To meet the extra demand, Peguform has launched three-shift working itself.
The Nymburk facility, which started operating last year, is set to achieve sales of 59 million euros ($71 million) in 2006, half of which will come from TPCA business. The plant will be able to manufacture 1,100 dashboards and 2,200 bumpers a day.
The parts supplier already employs about 330 at the Nymburk facility, but that number should grow to almost 400 before the end of 2005, the company announced. It has other production units at Liberec and Lib n.
Peguform Bohemia, owned since 1999 by Venture Holdings Co. LLC of Fraser, Mich., predicts that by next year, TPCA sales will represent 18 percent of its total customer base against less than 7 percent today. Its biggest overall customer now is Skoda Auto, with a 58 percent share, followed by Audi and Suzuki.
The Liberec-based molder operates 102 injection molding machines with clamping forces of 160-3,200 tons, and three compression molding machines used to make vehicle door panels. The firm also runs a three-layer, water-based painting line used to finish exterior parts.
Peguform recorded overall annual sales of 184 million euros ($221 million) during 2004, but it expects that figure to rise to 232 million euros ($278 million) by 2008.